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Behind the Facemask: Ray Edwards


Reggie Roberts: During the offseason, there were all of these rumors that you would be joining the Falcons. It didn't happen until training camp. What took so long?

Ray Edwards: My process was to let the chips fall where they were going to fall. My preference was to obviously be here in Atlanta. I was attracted to come here because of all the talent on this team. I felt like we could build something special here with guys like Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Roddy White. Then, the team moved up to draft Julio Jones to go (along) with Tony Gonzalez, John Abraham, Dunta Robinson, Brent Grimes and Curtis Lofton on defense. I felt like this was definitely the place I wanted to be.

RR: You were part of a very good defensive line in Minnesota for five years. What was that like?

RE: Those are some great guys on that line (Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and Pat Williams). We had great chemistry on and off the field, and that made it easier when we got on the field to do battle.

RR: Let's switch gears. What's a typical day in the offseason like for you?

RE: No matter what season it is, my day starts out with getting my first workout out of the way.

RR: Wait a minute. It's the offseason. You work out more than once a day during the offseason?

RE: I work out three times a day four times a week during the offseason. I'll start at 6 a.m. with a mile-and-a-half run before I come back to do a series of push-ups, sit-ups, and crunches. I'll have breakfast, take my pitbull (her name is Diamond) for a walk before I go to the gym to see my personal trainer at noon where we'll work out for about 90 minutes doing a series of strength and conditioning work. I'll finish the day with my third workout at around 8 p.m. It's a short workout that takes about 45 minutes.

RR: Your fitness as a professional athlete is obviously critically important, but I now understand why you stay so rocked up. Who knew?

RE: That's how I do it. I try to stay in shape year around and that regimen works for me.

RR: What about down town – vacation time – during the offseason?

RE: Everyone keeps telling me that I need to take more vacations. I might head down to Miami to sit on the beach for two or three days, but that's about it for me.

RR: So you've got no plans to go to Greece or Rome anytime soon?

RE: No. I'd rather stack my paper.

RR: You are the third straight guy who I've interviewed in as many weeks who publically says he is a serious saver. Where does that come from?

RE: I know where all my bread is and I am careful with it. That's how it's got to be.

RR: I am told that you grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and were a two-sport star athlete. Any truth to that?

RE: I played basketball and football. I played the three (position), four, and the five on my high school basketball team (Woodward High School), and I had some game. I got offered several Division I basketball schools from every school in the Big 10 and from several schools in the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC). I figured there were a ton of 6-foot-5-inch guys playing basketball, but there were not a lot of 6-foot-5-inch guys playing football.

RR: How did the preparation for the World Champions go this week?

RE: I thought the intensity in practice this week was very good. I took it upon myself to turn up my intensity on the practice field, and I think other guys did that as well. Hopefully, it carries over to the game.

RR: You've played against Packers QB Aaron Rodgers from your days with the Vikings in the NFC North. What makes him so hard to stop?

RE: The way he reads coverages and the manner in which he distributes the ball to his receivers.

RR: Are you a talker during the game or do you keep your mouth shut?

RE: I kind of just keep my mouth shut, but I try to give my guy the business.

RR: What does that mean?

RE: I am going to go at him. I'm going to be on my guy all day. When the game is over, win or lose, he's going to know that he's been in a battle because I am going to be coming all game long.

RR: Let's talk about some of your personal habits. Are you a big shopper?

RE: I am shoe fanatic.

RR: What does that mean?

RE: If you walked into my closet at my house in Minnesota, you'd find that I have more than 300 pairs of shoes.

RR: Come on, really?

RE: I've got 20 pairs of shoes in the equipment room that I haven't taken home yet. I've got to build up my Atlanta shoe collection, as well. Seriously, I am a Jordan guy and I love comfortable shoes. That's how I do it.

RR: So if you are out, you'll drop some of your bread on some shoes?

RE: I'm always on the look-out for those Ferragamo's. If they're hot, I'm buying them.

RR: When we travel, you always have the suit/sports jacket look going. Most of the big guys can't pull it off, but you are obviously paying attention to the latest styles offered in GQ or Esquire Magazine. Is that a fair assessment of your personal style?

RE: I have a suit guy. I simply try to keep it clean... keep it grown man style.

RR: What's that mean?

RE: I want to look neat and well put together... like grown people.

RR: Thanks for clearing that up for your people.

RE: No problem, Reg. I am here to help.

RR: What's your dream vacation spot?

RE: Bora Bora. I've never been there, but that is where I am going next offseason.

RR: What's your favorite food?

RE: Chicken Alfredo.

RR: We've talked about your musical interests. How many songs are on your iPod?

RE: I've got 22,000 songs on my iPod. My favorite artists are Jay-Z, Weezy (Lil Wayne), Trey Songz, R. Kelly, and Teddy Pendergrass.

RR: Who is your favorite female vocalist?

RE: Alicia Keys.

RR: What would you like your NFL legacy to be?

RE: When I am done, I want to have that championship ring. I've been playing this game for a long time, and I have never been crowned a World Champion. That's my goal. I don't want to be one of those guys who got the ring just because he was on the team. I want to be one of the main guys who contributed to the success of my team being crowned World Champions. That's how I want to leave this game.

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